Earth's Changing Surface Biota Project Geology 

Earth’s Changing Surface: It Takes Time!

By Alyssa L. Abbeyn (@ifDiscswereRock) for The Biota Project (@thebiotaproject) It’s a pretty regular night, my partner and I are doing some extra work tonight since we are leaving early tomorrow to celebrate my birthday. I’m on my computer at the kitchen table and they’re in the other room. Quite suddenly, the house creaks and groans rocking back and forth like a rickety old table with unstable legs. My first thought, “Wow the upstairs neighbors are really stomping around up there, or maybe some furniture fell down or something…” then…

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CO2 capture and storage Climate Change Environment Geology 

CO2 underground could combat climate change

By Mackenzie Myers, @kenzwrites Despite the scariness of already-manifesting climate change, lawmakers and researchers worldwide have identified strategies to help us fight it. Expanding renewable energy, replacing coal with natural gas, and making machines more energy-efficient are just a few tricks humankind has up its sleeves. At the center of all this, of course, is a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. According to a new study, one key to accomplishing that goal may lie far beneath the surface of the earth and yet be more accessible than you might…

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Climate Change Ecology Geology 

Fossil pollen holds clues to past

By Mackenzie Myers What if, instead of ancient treasure and tombs, Indiana Jones researched ancient pollen and soil?  Beyond just a seasonal nuisance or a crucial component of agriculture, pollen can be a key to understanding the past. It clues researchers in to how land was used thousands of years ago, as well as what the climate conditions were like at that time. And according to a new study from North Carolina State University, this tool may be available in more areas than previously thought.  Painting the past with fossil…

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Ecology Geology 

Exploring the Science of Mountain Biodiversity

By Jacqueline Mattos (@mattosjacq) Mountain systems are hotspots of biodiversity, which means that they host many different species of many taxonomic groups in condensed spatial scales. Much has been studied about mountains and their diversity, but the biological and geological processes that maintain their great number of species remain elusive. In a recent review in Nature Geoscience, Alexandre Antonelli and colleagues have accounted for many different aspects of mountains and their diversity, trying to fill in the many gaps in this field of study by quantifying the relative importance of…

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Geology 

The Wonderful World of Minerals

By Nadine Gabriel (@NadWGab) There are currently 5414 known minerals, from abellaite to zykaite. But what exactly are minerals? And how are they used in our everyday life? A mineral is a naturally occurring element or compound that is solid at room temperature and has an ordered atomic arrangement. Since some people get minerals mixed up with rocks, here’s a simple analogy you can use to memorise the distinction: minerals are like Lego blocks—they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colours; rocks, on the other hand, are like…

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